We get it. There are a lot of perceptions around seeing a therapist, a psychologist, or a counsellor... But the times they are a'changing, as Bob Dylan crooned.
Therapy isn't about fixing problems, although it might be. It's not about crying your heart out to a stranger, although it might be. See, the beauty of therapy is that it can be whatever you need it to be.
It's a way to get a sense check on what your mind is saying to you on repeat; it's a way to understand why you keep setting your alarm clock for 5am to go for a run but continuously hit the snooze button; it's a way to understand why you react in a way you regret to your partner, or a friend, or a colleague; it's essentially a way to understand a little more about you.
It's then understanding what you want to do with that information. Not everyone is going to be up for therapy, or understanding themselves or other people better. At Slowwell, one of our fundamental values is growth. We're not ashamed to say we love personal development, especially books that help us learn and grow, as well as talking to someone who can personalise that information based on our own needs and wants.
Let’s bring in some visual back-up:
American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham developed the Johari Window Model in 1955. It’s a really useful tool for helping people better understand themselves.
Apart from being a cool-looking diagram, what I want to highlight here is that there are some things we know about ourselves, which is represented by the top left-hand square. There are other things we don’t know but that others can see of us from our behaviour, reactions, the way we communicate, etc, which is represented by our Blind Spot.
The Hidden Area is a part of us we keep hidden away from everyone and the Unknown Area is the part of us that we don’t even know is there! [Insert emoji screaming with his hands on his face.]
Unless it’s part of our job, most of us don’t ask for a lot of feedback from others, so we may not always get to know what sits in our Blind Spot. This is where therapy can come in, seeing a psychologist, a counsellor or a psychotherapist.
In therapy sessions, you are able to voice thoughts that you may not always share with friends and family to better understand how you are in the world. A practitioner works with a client in a non-judgemental space to start to ‘make sense’ of what previously may have just seemed confusing or unknown or simply, negative.
In the work that I do, I like to think of this process as an exploratory conversation where both a practitioner and a client are working together to embark on a journey of curiosity and insight. To what end?
To better understand and work on areas of our life – our habits, how we communicate, the people we date – that we might be finding are not working out the way we want. Sometimes it’s not just ‘you’, it’s self-limiting beliefs, or subconscious programming, or a feral ‘monkey mind’ that stops us from creating the life we want.
So, in our minds at least but maybe we're biased, we think therapy is pretty much a good idea for anyone.
If you can find a therapist (psychologist, counsellor or psychotherapist) who you connect with really well, then in embarking on therapy you’ll get to know yourself a whole lot better, and therefore make the changes (small or big) that you need to make in order to move in the direction of the life you want to live.
It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you're interested in exploring therapy sessions with Dani, visit www.daniellehanrahan.com to learn more or email email@example.com.
Written by Dani